(b. 1571, Caravaggio, d. 1610, Porto Ercole)

Portrait of Maffeo Barberini

Oil on canvas, 124 x 90 cm
Private collection, Florence

The still undeveloped features of this young cleric, who later became Pope Urban VIII (1623-1644) were portrayed as a much more distinguished figure by the skills of Gianlorenzo Bernini (1598-1680). Here, the face appears in chiaroscuro against a neutral background in such a way that a wall appears to be screening off the figure from the left. In order to give the figure more 'rilievo', or more three-dimensionality, the lit sections are painted against a dark, and the sections in shadow against a light, background.